The Music Of Fame

There is a name-recognition factor in this election. Bandt, Hanson-Young, Wilkie, Clare, Burke and Bowen survived; Saffin, Melham, Cheeseman, Murphy did not. Mirabella may scrape home. Beattie would have got there with half of Palmer’s preferences. He was famous; but so was Palmer, and that hurt him.

In a world of tweeting and selfies and Facebook, things are different. A television personality who writes a book gets thirty thousand readers. A multi-talented famous person like Nick Cave or Melvin Bragg writes a book and it sells through the roof. A relatively talentless but television-famous person like Pauline Hanson is elected to parliament. A brilliant but long-absent one like Jason Li is not.

And so it goes.

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  1. wife and i will join with a vote…

  2. ”this vintage Albo in Parliament – imagine how he’d deal with Abbott, John Howard’s lovechild.. “


    Mr ALBANESE (Member for Grayndler) said:

    Today my grievance is against the Prime Minister (Mr Howard) for his failure to provide leadership. You can trim the eyebrows; you can cap the teeth; you can cut the hair; you can put on different glasses; you can give him a ewe’s milk facial, for all I care; but, to paraphrase a gritty Australian saying, ‘Same stuff, different bucket.’

    In the pantheon of chinless blue bloods and suburban accountants that makes up the Australian Liberal Party,this bloke is truly one out of the box. You have to go back to Billy McMahon to find a Prime Minister who even approaches this one for petulance, pettiness and sheer grinding inadequacy. …

    But the gulf, Mr Deputy Speaker, between the man in his mind - the phlegmatic, proud old English bulldog - the Winston of John Winston Howard - and the nervous, jerky, whiny apparition that we all see on the box every night. When he looks on the box he gets to see what we see - not the masterful orator of his mind but the whingey kid in his sandpit. Spare a thought for us, Mr Deputy Speaker, because we have to watch this performance every day - the chin and top lip jutting out in ‘full duck mode’. This prime ministership is not about the future of our nation. It is about John Winston Howard’s past. …

    John Winston Howard grew up in the inner west of Sydney. His father owned a service station on the corner of the street where I now live. These were the halcyon days of little Winston’s life - when the working classes knew their place and when all migrants were British. Lucky John Winston Howard moved further north across the harbour. He certainly would not be comfortable living in the inner west of Sydney any more. A bit too much change for his lifetime.

    John Howard has always been proud to call himself a conservative. The problem I think is that he has confused this with preservative. … Because it all started going wrong in the late 1960s. Here is a man who lived at home until he was 32. You can imagine what he was like. Here were young Australians demonstrating against the Vietnam War, listening to the Doors, driving their tie-dyed kombi vans, and what was John Howard doing? He was at home with mum, wearing his shorts and long white socks, listening to Pat Boone albums and waiting for the Saturday night church dance. Yes, it all started to go wrong back in the 1960s. Radical and sinister notions of equality for women, world peace and, dare I say it, citizenship rights for indigenous Australians.

    …. continued in PART TWO


    So what do we hear when we listen to John Winston Howard today? We hear the hatred and resentment in his voice - the sort of hatred and resentment we saw at the reconciliation conference last year - hatred and resentment from a man who was never part of the scene, who was not accepted, for whom a different life was too big a leap and who took refuge in a previous generation. You can see it in his instinctive hatred of any progression, and he sees it everywhere - policies of social inclusion, multiculturalism, women’s liberation, Aboriginal reconciliation. In all of them he only ever sees the jump he was too weak to make decades ago.

    Now he wants the whole nation to stay back and keep him company. Punch `Howard’ and `multiculturalism’ into the Hansard database. You will find he has never mentioned the word. … This is the man we have leading the country - a man who is so instinctively petty and so bitterly obsessed that he could craft an entire parliamentary career without mentioning the word `multiculturalism’ and what that represents, because it is an idea he is opposed to. He is positive]y Orwellian in his pettiness. This is a smallness of mind, a meanness with breathtaking scope.

    It is a small thing really but remember when the Spice Girls came to Australia at the beginning of the year? … What did he say? He said it would not be ‘appropriate’ to meet with them. That is vintage John Winston Howard. If he really did not want to meet them he could have just said he was on holiday at Hawks Nest. But he could not resist. He could not resist telling the youth of Australia that he thought they were infantile and stupid and therefore it would be inappropriate to meet these people. …

    This is the man we have leading this country - yesterday’s man, a weak man, a little man, a man without courage and a man without vision. Billy McMahon in short pants. This is the man who has brought the full force of his personality to bear on Australia. Australia is now learning what it is like live life through John Howard’s eyes. This is the man whose only aim in the end - forgetting the prime ministership - was to pay back all those who had tried to stop him along the way.

    Australia is a better country than that and Australians are better people than that. Australians are, if we are anything, a courageous people. So steeped in conservative values and fear of what is new is John Winston Howard that, if he were born before the Wright brothers, he would have organised a campaign against air travel of any description on the grounds that it was new and potentially dangerous. He is an antique, a remnant of the past that should be put on display, but not in government and certainly not in a leadership position, for anachronisms belong in museums and historical texts, not in parliament. Australians deserve a courageous leader; they do not deserve the kind of leader that used to dob on them in the schoolyard. They do not deserve John Winston Howard and in time they will put him out to pasture. Roll on that day, come the federal election.

    • The last few lines rather spoil the effect, relating the speech to recent events; but well done Dali to remind us of these things. Let Albanese loose!

      Send him a reminder of that one, and with a few name changes and some updating it can probably be recycled for current use.

      • That’s wonderful, Dali.
        A good start for the week, even the Spice Girls are there…only spice Howard knew was Keen’s MILD curry powder for the Friday night’s curried eggs…
        Mrs Howard always packed some paperback Detective stories when going to Hawks Nest…and when things got stressful ,as they sometimes do, we inner city girls did yoga, Janette put on the washing machine…so soothing, all that humming, and oh so sensible….

  4. Whatever else this election of 2013 has shown us one of them is as you point out Bob, the importance of name recognition in getting votes.

    The Clive Palmer investment in the two senate seats and one reps (if he hangs on to it)was not made for charity but with an expectation of returns.

    These returns will not mean higher wages and salaries for employees but higher profits for owners.

    The pattern is established. Australian enterprises that pay high (uncompetitive) wages are closed down and the work is then outsourced to corrupt low wage locales like Bangladesh - a recent favourite where costs are kept low by the usual exploitive means.

    What does it mean:
    “Australia is again open for business”
    “reboot the mining boom”

    It means waves and waves of temporary fifo workers officially paid at award rates but in actuality flown home to Manila no and then with a bag of flour and the cash in the pocket of the owners.

    457 is made in heaven for the banksters and casino capitalists who helped finance the Murdoch coup for privatization of the Australian government.

    A mature Murdochracy like ours is a private public partnership controlled by the private partners.

    Getting rid of the murdochracy is now an urgent priority.

    This is a nucleus of what might in time become a unanimous Declaration by the people of Australia intended to secure our rights. Governments have been instituted for this purpose, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends as the mature Murdochracy is doing, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.

    Power to the people

  5. About Daryl Melham. I got the feeling he’d given up the ghost for the campaign. As a resident of Banks, I saw neither hide nor hair of him for the duration of the campaign, no posters, no robo-calls, no-one handing out pamphlets for him at Hurstville station, nothing. No sympathy for someone who didn’t seem to have his heart in it. :-(

  6. The most itellectually challenged voters in Australia voted National Party.
    The old Nats will nod on command for more coal seam gas, fracking, coal mining & everything else likely to destroy the long term viability agriculture, the integrity of water table & aquifers.

    Even Abbott’s ridiculous policy greenlighting anything goes for foreign ownership of any farms individually valued under $15M FIRB hurdle, will get the nod.
    26 such farms on one side of my old home town sold to the UAE gov’t, one at a time. All production for the domestic benefit of another country, on a non commercial basis.

  7. There are moments when I feel we’ll prevail, in the end, with sense and vision. Then I look at actual results and see that almost 30,000 people voted for Jaymes Diaz in Greenway; over 32,000 people in Indi looked at the ballot paper and thought: ‘well, Sophie’s the best choice here’ and almost 36,000 people said ‘Phhoowwar! Yes, Tony reckons she’s got sex appeal’ and voted for Fiona Scott.

    That’ almost 100,000 certifiably moronic people we call fellow citizens. And I begin to lose heart. Richelieu 11 - astounding.

    • Too true; they have no idea of the concept of enlightened self-interest.

      I had thought enough of the voters had resisted the nonsense, the lies and the propaganda of the Coalition and Murdoch’s other minions, but it appears I was wrong.

  8. Murdoch has twitted “Australian election public sick of public sector workers and welfare scroungers sucking life out of the economy”. Thanks Murdoch I hope that you die and your death will come soon, you stinking maggot filled, cancerous piece of dog excrement.

    • Thank the goddess Persephone and Zeus that its up to President Obama,Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg to see to it that the debridement within their jurisdiction is properly executed.

  9. This country needs a left wing commercial television station like MSNBC in the US, otherwise Murdoch and his slaves will rule this country forever and will decide elections for their own interests.

    • At very least, a PBS style system that is centrist and even handed.

      The ABC has already been undermined and emasculated by Howard over the previous decade, and it is still “corrected”. The senior management appointed directors reporters and presenters in their own image. And it won’t improve now.

      • Dangerous-I have been trying to find a left wing shock jock for many years-still looking!

        • I’m sure I once heard Rod Quantock filling in on ABC radio.

          No man more passionate about the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, than Rod.

          Years ago I heard him getting stuck into Amanda Vanstone about the absurdity of her claims of left wing bias in the press. Might have been on GNW when it was on ABC.

          Never see or hear anyone like Rod on ‘our’ ABC anymore.

      • Pat Buoncristiani

        Oh dear. I lived with PBS for ten years and can vouch for their balance but shudder when I recall their pledge drives.

  10. with his no suprises and his limited mandate.. I cant see his need to put much to the senate…

  11. “May the best man win” might work in a one on one contest, in tennis or boxing perhaps.

    But as a likelihood in a multi-faceted contest it is childishly naive to think it might apply.

    And so it always goes.

  12. Im back to being concerned again.

    Here are the 5 conservative leaning Senators, when combined with Coalitions 34 seats will give a majority in the senate.

    Wayne Dropulich - Sports party
    Ricky Muir- Motoring party
    David Leyonhjelm - liberal democrats
    Glenn Lazarus - Palmer United Party
    Jacquie Lambie - Palmer United Party

    The other 3 moderate/conservatives are:
    Nick Xenophon - Independent
    Bob Day - Family First
    John Madigan -Democratic Labour Party

    Can you, Bob, or anyone else, explain the likelhood of Abbott passing laws through the Senate in 2014 with these Senators as the balance of power?

    • As in NSW, one issue, even no issue members elected to an upper house, are all too often for sale.

      Shooters NSW prepared to vote anything through while they thought O’Farrell would let them loose in national parks.
      Fred Nile bend over tot the most heathen proposal, for the salary & esteam of the big wooden chair.

      Zenephon’s preference deals suggest to me he’s already done his deal.

  13. The people of Corangamite voted for the Liberals whose avowed policy is no assistance to and therefore to end the car manufacturing sector in this country. People voted for that. My sympathy factor will be zero for anyone in that area. Astounding.

    • How to win the next election/ Save the ALP.

      Membership drive with an aim of 100,000 new members by July 14.
      Another 100,000 within the following year. 500,000 by the next election. Not 10,000 as espoused by Gillard.

      Each seat to be engaged in a primary style vote. One must be a member to participate in the final vote.

      One leader to lead them all from now until the time that final process to determine the leader can be finalised.

      Rudd and Beatie, if Beatie loses should take control of the QLD ALP to ensure Newman is a one-term Government, as the VICs will find will be an achievable task.

      • Apologies, that was meant to be a stand-alone comment.

        Gillard should lead the VICs. As any truly committed Labor person would. Not a lot you can do for the people as a CEO.

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